A lady carries 40 kgs of veggies to Shanghai to assist her son
The lady traveled thousands of kilometers and took three high-speed-train trips to reach Shanghai
The following story was posted in Chinese on April 20 on 上海来信 Letter From Shanghai, a blog on WeChat focusing on telling stories about Shanghai, where it was an instant hit. The author of this story is Mrs. Wu, a 57-year-old retired worker in east China's Shandong Province. According to the post, she has a son working in Shanghai and a daughter teaching in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
In addition to telling you this story, Ginger River wants to keep you informed about certain changes in his full-time job at Xinhua News Agency. Details can be found at the bottom of today's newsletter.
The original title is
A lady from China's Shandong Province carried 40 kgs of veggies to Shanghai to assist her son! The lady traveled thousands of kilometers and took three high-speed-train trips on her own
I took the high-speed rail from east China's Shandong Province early on the morning of April 15, and then transferred twice to reach Shanghai. When I arrived at my son's apartment at 7 p.m., it was already dark outside.
I brought two huge trunks and a canvas bag to Shanghai this time, containing 35 to 40 kilograms of foodstuffs, including vegetables, steak, poultry, prepared meals, soy products, and so on.
The foods were all over the floor when I was sorting my luggage, and my son took a picture and shared it on his 朋友圈 WeChat Moments with his friends. We weren't expecting so many likes and comments.
"世上只有妈妈好" "Mom is the best in the world," some people claim. That is true, and parents are naturally concerned about their children. But, after all, it's just the food for our family, so I don't deserve any more praise.
Some folks may wonder why I had to travel to Shanghai. Some individuals are likewise worried, wondering how I got Shanghai. Let me explain it.
Coming to Shanghai is not a spur-of-the-moment decision. It has been planned. I often resided at my son's apartment in the past. During the Spring Festival holiday this year, I was also in Shanghai, and I plan to stay there for the next several years. The little grandchild is only six months old and someone has to look after him. My son and daughter-in-law will return to work when the lockdown is ended, so I must come to Shanghai early and prepare to take care of the grandchild.
[During this special epidemic period,] getting train tickets was quite difficult.
Our hometown lies in Tancheng County in the city of Linyi, the southernmost region of Shandong province. I usually take a bus to Linyi Airport, and then fly straight to Shanghai, or go south to a county-level city in northern Jiangsu Province and take a four-hour high-speed rail to Shanghai.
These options, however, do not work in a COVID-19 epidemic outbreak. Buses and flights were halted, and some areas at the boundary of Shandong and Jiangsu were shut down. The most practical option is to take the high-speed rail in Shandong and then try to transfer to the high-speed rail to Shanghai.
I first purchased a ticket on April 5. It was reported that Shanghai's Puxi, or areas west of the Huangpu River, would be unblocked at that time. [I planned to] take the high-speed train from Linyi to Rizhao (a city in Shangdong), and then from Rizhao to Shanghai. However, the train from Rizhao to Shanghai was halted a few days before departure.
The second option I considered was to take the high-speed train from Linyi to Qufu (another city in Shandong), then transfer to Hefei (capital of east China's Anhui Province), and finally to Shanghai from Hefei. For this option, I would have to transfer twice since it would make several detours. However, I was informed a few days before departure that the third part of this route had been halted.
I ended up taking a route in which I set out from Linyi to Rizhao, transferred to Xuzhou (a major city in east China's Jiangsu Province), and then shifted to Shanghai. It took me more than one hour to arrive at the high-speed rail station and nearly eight hours on the train and the transfer.
A road trip simulation from Linyi to Rizhao, Xuzhou, and Shanghai. (not exactly the same as the train trip Mrs. Xu took, but to give you a general idea)
After booking the ticket, I decided that if it was cancelled again, I would take a truck to Hangzhou (capital of east China's Zhejiang Province), and then take the high-speed rail to Shanghai. My cousin, who owns a restaurant in the highway service area, assisted me in making contact with a familiar truck driver.
Then it was about preparing the foodstuffs.
Although my son, with the foodstuff he stored up, the community group purchase, and the help from some friends, was not that in short of food due to the late shutdown in the area he lived, I was worried that the epidemic could last for a long time. After all, it's inconvenient to purchase in Shanghai now, so I brought as many things as I could so I can feel more at ease.
The meat was purchased ahead of time, frozen in the fridge, and ready to take out. Veggies could be bought a day or two in advance.
My son was concerned that my luggage could be too heavy, so he advised me to just pack some leafy vegetables. He said that Shanghai was not in shortage of veggies right now, but they were all durable vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions, and green leafy vegetables were scarce.
I realized that I bought too much as I kept buying, and I continued to do so until I departed. I took the high-speed rail at 8 a.m. that day and went to the wholesale market at 4 a.m. to buy veggies that were worth dozens of yuan.
In the end, I packed roughly ten different types of green vegetables, totaling more than 20 different types of vegetables, as well as seasonal veggies such as toon. I also took the time to buy 4 kgs of apples. Considering that my grandchild needs to eat some supplementary food, I bought some rice noodles and noodles especially made for babies.
Besides purchasing it myself, many family members and friends also reached out to help me. When they initially learned that I was heading to Shanghai, they tried to persuade me not to go, and even the apple merchants tried to persuade me not to go to Shanghai. When they realized that I had made up my mind, they all began to help me get ready.
My sister-in-law cooked a large bag of dry tofu, my daughter's in-laws bought some veggies, and my brother-in-law helped me cook the mutton...
Originally, I planned to carry a huge trunk and a handbag with me, but finally, I added another large trunk. When I planned big trips in the past, I used to packing more things, but this time I had to change trains and I have a lot of stuff, so I was ready to move the stuff slowly on the road.
Mrs. Wu displays her trunks and bag
The train was not cancelled, and I set out on April 15. I took the COVID-19 test before the departure.
A relative picked me up at 5:30 a.m. and we arrived at Linyi High-speed Railway Station after one and a half hours, then I got on the high-speed train at 8:00 a.m. I slung a bag over my shoulder and pulled the two trunks with my hands on the level ground of the station. The trunk was old, and the wheels were difficult to use, so I did make great effort to pull them.
The most difficult thing is getting on the elevator. The elevator is difficult to locate, so most of the time I took the escalator. I carried one trunk at a time, then descended the staircase and took another trunk up.
It's not that difficult, but it took a long time. The transfer time at Rizhao High-speed Railway Station was initially scheduled for 40 minutes, and it took me 30 minutes in total.
There were also a lot of kind folks on the road. A station employee at Linyi High-speed Railway Station assisted me in dragging a trunk from the ticket gate to the train. A young man helped me drag a trunk when I was transferring in Xuzhou.
I received three COVID-19 vaccine doses, and was not afraid of being infected throughout this trip. What I was concerned about was that there was no food at home, that I would not be allowed to enter Shanghai, that I would be asked to return to my hometown, but my hometown would not accept me, and that the fresh veggies I bought would rot. I had no idea what to do if these things happened.
Throughout the trip, I wore two layers of masks and disposable gloves just to be cautious.
The train from Xuzhou to Shanghai was full of passengers at first, and by the time we arrived in Suzhou, most of them got off the train. There were only a few people in the compartment I was in, and there were many delivery men from e-commerce giant JD.com who went to support Shanghai in other compartments. These delivery men who travelled to Shanghai to assist the city, in my opinion, were incredibly brave. They went there to help others.
The amenities at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Station were excellent. The elevator was convenient, and cabs and buses were available with assured service. To get to my son's place, I took a cab that ran the meter to calculate the price. I had to have a COVID-19 negative certificate and do an antigen rapid test on the spot before entering communities.
My son was similarly taken aback when he saw me. He knew I would pack something, but he had not anticipated that I brought so many things. He was even more surprised when he noticed that all the things were strewn out and that there was no room on the ground as he was putting these things in order.
I'm just happy that I can bring so much stuff, and the more the merrier. When I was telling the relatives in my hometown that I arrived safely, I continued showing them off. My nephew claimed that he might have thrown the trunks away on the way if it had been him
I've taken four COVID-19 tests in Shanghai so far, all of which have turned out negative. (Enditem)
Some changes to Ginger River's full-time job:
Ginger River will be relocated to Xinhua News Agency's office in Islamabad, Pakistan, for a job rotation there beginning on April 26. Your Ginger River is excited about this new journey and is looking forward to sharing it with you. In addition, Ginger River will continue to do this newsletter with no changes in its focus on China, the positioning, or the style. With that being said, you can expect to see some first-hand information about Pakistan, relationships between China and countries in South Asia, or some thoughts about China's role in the Asia Pacific from this newsletter once in a while. Ginger River also wants to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of this newsletter and will continue to provide you with quality content.